WASHINGTON - The United States ought to begin implementing a wider array of sanctions against Ethiopia and encourage the international community to do the same in response to reports of war crimes and crimes against humanity in the country's northern Tigray region, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez said on Thursday.
"I support the administration's announcement of visa sanctions and a pause in some assistance. We should also impose targeted financial sanctions on individuals perpetrating conflict, use our voice and vote at international financial institutions to oppose all funding that does not directly support the basic needs of the Ethiopian people, and ensure that Ethiopian troops currently operating in Tigray who may be implicated in war crimes are not deployed as UN peacekeepers. In addition, the administration should begin marshalling international support for arms embargoes so that the weapons of war fueling this disastrous crisis can be taken off the table," Menendez said.
The Tigray Region in the north of Ethiopia has been experiencing severe food insecurity as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, a locust outbreak, and an ongoing regional conflict between the Ethiopian government and a local, militant ruling party, the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF).